Sunday, 20 May, 2018


China demolishes second church as fears of crackdown against Christianity grow

China's Golden Lampstand Church falls.   The Guardian via YouTube China's Golden Lampstand Church falls. The Guardian via YouTube
Bennie Garza | 12 January, 2018, 21:51

According to witnesses, a large team of People's Armed Police and local officials detonated dynamite inside the building before using cranes and bulldozers to reduce it to rubble, reported The Guardian.

Chinese authorities detonated explosives in an underground worship hall earlier this week, ChinaAid, a USA -based Christian advocacy group, reports.

In Zhejiang province more than 1,500 churches, both Catholic and Protestant, have been targeted for demolition or cross removals in recent years, sources have said in a campaign against churches not coming under state control. In 2009, hundreds of police and hired thugs smashed it up, seizing Bibles in a crackdown that ended with its leaders receiving long jail terms.

Founder of China Aid Bob Fu said that he perceived the government strategy behind pulverizing church buildings is to stop people from constructing more churches in China or it might be preliminary for implementing new religious laws next month.

A pastor at a nearby church, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals said there were "more police than I could count" preventing a crowd on onlookers and worshipers from approaching the site. These regulations grant the Chinese Communist Party increased power over religion, paving the way for escalated persecution.

Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen, Shanxi was once a 17 million Yuan ($2,603,380.00 USD) unregistered church, paid for completely by the Christians who attended it.

Religious groups must register with local religious affairs authorities under Chinese law, the report said, adding the church was illegally constructed almost a decade ago in violation of building codes. In 2009, leaders of the church were sentenced to prison on such charges as obstructing traffic.

The Golden Lampstand, a well-known evangelical megachurch in the city of Linfen, Shanxi province, was dramatically demolished with explosives on Tuesday.

She told a ChinaAid reporter: "The police surrounded the Golden Lampstand Church".

Authorities placed the bombs in underground worship halls beneath the church and proceeded to destroy its above-ground building. The village head and the police from the local police station warned all the believers against entering the church. "ChinaAid calls on the global community to openly condemn the bombing of this church building and urge the Chinese government to fairly compensate the Christians who paid for it and immediately cease these alarming demolitions of churches".

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